IT was a special moment for the members of the Chandigarh chapter of the Yogoda Satsanga Society (YSS) of India, as its member Ram Lal Ast has translated the spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi, the life story of Paramhansa Yogananda from English into Punjabi.
The YSS was founded in 1917 by Paramhansa Yogananda. The book has introduced seekers all over the world to yoga and meditation and is synonymous with simple and scientific ways to live a life of eternal joy and peace.
Titled Ek Yogi Di Atmakatha, the book was released on Monday at the Tagore Theatre by Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki in the presence of Shraddhananda Giri, who has been an integral part of YSS and one of its guiding lights for more than 35 years now.
“Every person can relate to the concept of eternal joy and happiness, but how to achieve it is the pertinent question. Here’s one book that has incomparable wisdom, information, guidance to achieve this bliss and it’s both scientific and practical,’’ said Giri, who travels, lectures and delivers lectures around the world on teachings of Yogananda.
A keen student of physics, Giri talks about how the book, which has been translated into all major Indian and international languages, and is now available in Punjabi, is relevant in today’s time of strife and stress for it has in it a complete system to guide people to live a holistic life in harmony with oneself and the world around us.
“Every time I read the book, I found new meanings in it and a rare belief and conviction. Our increasing understanding of electronics, atomic structures, internal body electricity, energy channels… make the numerous mental activities in the book easy to relate and connect with. It all leads to calming the mind and perceiving things that are omnipresent, but we can’t see,’’ said Giri.
He added that the book deals with life’s various experiences, it helps one understand the scientific foundation of many practices related to yoga and spirituality. The larger idea, he said, is to create for ourselves spiritually harmonious lives and contribute to a more compassionate and peaceful world.
For Ast, translating the book into Punjabi from English, was a labour of love, one he did in three years after many readings of the book.
His purpose was to connect with the spirit of the book and not translate it technically. Ast, a former senior auditor, did the translation single-handedly. “I was nervous in the beginning, as I was also getting used to the new technology and computer system needed for the job. But once I began, it just flowed and I hope what we have received from the book, many readers of Punjabi will also gain,’’ said Ast.